Articles by Quan Lam
Quan is a copywriter and freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has contributed to sites such as Woman Around Town and Scoop St. Her interests include dining out, creating recipes and cooking for friends and family. During her free time, she updates her blog, Grade A Fresh, where she likes to dwell on her love for all things food related.
Farmer's markets are becoming increasingly popular with the world slowly evolving towards a healthier lifestyle. But did you know that you can also buy fresh, high quality fruits and vegetables while simultaneously participating in local farm production? CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) allows potential buyers and current members to purchase a share of a farmer’s crop each season, allowing that particular farmer to acquire the essential tools to grow and harvest his land while also providing a fail-safe market for his produce.
Upon purchasing a CSA you will recieve a weekly share of freshly picked fruits and vegetables, directly from a local source. While some farms do offer home delivery, it is more common for buyers to pick up their produce at a central location. Of course, purchasing a CSA carries some caution: the fickle weather plays an integral part in agriculture and affects whatever is produced. You might recieve a bounty of goods one season and slim pickings the next. But this can also be considered a perk of purchasing a CSA- the ever growing need to reserach and try out new recipes. Creativity is key in figuring out how to transform all those weekly sweet potatoes into something delectable.
It's a no-brainer. When browsing a menu and unable to decide what to order, always go with the chicken. Nine times out of ten, it will be edible. If there is fried chicken, nine times out of ten, it will be delicious -because who doesn’t like fried anything? Here a few local spots (in no particular order) for some soul-satisfying fried chicken.
1. Buttermilk Channel - 524 Court Street
Not only does this establishment have buttermilk-fried chicken, but they also serve fluffy cheddar waffles drizzled with balsamic syrup alongside it. Visit during Monday night and order this signature dish as part of a $25 prixe fix menu where an additional salad or soup and a dessert will have you in a food coma within minutes.
As with any large metropolis, New York has very limited space. Buildings, streets, and sidewalks overwhelm what little land is left. So one has to wonder: how does an urban environment entrenched in concrete and asphalt become a viable provider of farmed goods? How does a city like the Big Apple find an environmentally friendly way to supply a variety of quality produce for its community without traveling beyond the city limits?
Hydroponics is a system of growing fruits and vegetables by using irrigated, mineral-rich water to create a highly sustainable way to farm and harvest produce. The benefits include a significant decrease in the use of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, the elimination of fertilizer runoff into waterways and oceans, and the reduction of water use by 70 to 90%. Plants are also no longer susceptible to soil-borne diseases such as salmonella and E Coli. And one of the biggest perks? Hydroponics uses less square footage than traditional field agriculture, an ideal situation in an urban setting.